Tokai civic looks at past gains and road ahead

New Ward 71 councillor Carolynne Franlklin, centre, with Tokai Residents’ Association committee members Don Kourie, Pam Gorre, Terry Simon, David Slingsby, Liz Johnston, Di Nixon, Julian Tompkins and Sarah Pietersen.

Potholes, water leaks and the state of the library were just some of the issues discussed at the Tokai Residents’ Association’s annual general meeting on Wednesday November 17.

About 60 residents, guests and committee members were at the association’s 48th AGM, held at the at Steenberg Golf Club.

Chairman Don Kourie reminded everyone that the association’s role was to help retain the rural character of the suburb, ensure compliance with town-planning requirements and monitor the maintenance of all municipal services.

The meeting heard that over the past two years, the association had upgraded the Keyser River trail, a parking area at the Tokai lower forest in Dennendal West Avenue and a pedestrian crossing at Forest Glade; paid to clean up Tokai Road; and organised an emergency call point, provided by security firm, in Brocker Park..

Projects still requiring attention were the potholed Lismore Avenue, a major thoroughfare for people using the greenbelt, and the frequently breaking water pipes in Zwaanswyk Road.

Poor cellphone connectivity in the area was another issue.

There is an application for a cell mast to be positioned at 9 Reddam Avenue, behind Steenberg shopping centre, which, according to Mr Kourie, is out of the association’s jurisdiction.

“We also note that scientific research is pointing to the fact that cellphone masts do not carry the risks of radiation or other health problems that were initially thought,” he said.

Objections to the application closed on Monday November 8 and the association did not yet know the outcome, he said.

The condition of the library building was discussed. The City completed repairs there earlier this year. Mr Kourie said the association had set aside R20 000 and was awaiting approval from the City to start improving the library precinct beyond the library fence.

Mr Kourie warned that under the City’s densification plan for the suburbs more structures could be built on smaller plots and right up to the boundary lines.

“This could adversely affect your privacy and views,” he said. (“Questions over valley subdivisions,” Bulletin April 22).

Treasurer Terry Simon said that in his three years on the committee he had seen R100 000 allocated to improvement projects in Tokai. He said R10 000 had gone to the Ward 71 Covid-19 relief fund and R20 000 for additional security cameras.

Mr Kourie asked that residents with specialist knowledge in the law, town planning, landscaping and civil engineering help the committee when issues arose as the association would prefer to deal with local experts and pay them for their help.

Mr Kourie introduced the ward’s new councillor, Carolynne Franklin, who is a former chairperson of the association.

“This is all new for me,” said Ms Franklin. “Our voice needs to be heard in sub-council and I ask that you hold me to account. I promise that our suburbs remain a beautiful place to live.”

Mr Kourie thanked past ward councillor Penny East and said the association wanted to mentor younger people and use technology such as TikTok and Twitter to reach more people.